Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Nut Job Review

I'm going to be saying a lot of things about The Nut Job in this review. Most of them won't be pleasant, but there is one thing that I want to say about this movie right off the bat. This movie is a historical landmark. I don't mean that in the sense that it's a historical landmark for this blog, but a legitimate cinematic historical landmark. The Nut Job is actually the first globally released animated movie from South Korea. Now, one might be wondering why this is important, but here is the reason why. It is because of that reason, and that reason alone, that this haunts my nightmares.

Be afraid.

Surly Squirrel (love the name) is a squirrel that isn't very well liked in the local park. He's selfish, never wants to join the group, and pretty much is your definition of a loner. So when he's eventually kicked out of the park for being too much of a loner and not joining all of the local animals, who have created a makeshift society under the watchful eye of a raccoon named... Raccoon, he's banished with his friend Buddy to the city. While there, he discovers a nut store that is run by a bunch of gangsters and devises a plan to steal their nuts for the winter. However, Raccoon wants the nuts for himself so he can continue to control his little society, so it's a race to see who can steal the nuts first.

Why is it that most kids movies I review are absolutely horrible? Whenever I decide to talk about an animated kids movie, it usually ends up being a horrible, unmitigated disaster that makes me question the future of the planet if kids are growing up thinking that The Nut Job is good entertainment. I just want you all to let this sink in; there is now a group of children, most likely under the age of 7 mind you, who are going to grow up thinking that something as lazy, uninspired, and just plain awful, is a quality movie. The movie where the same joke is repeated 20 times. The movie where Liam Neeson plays a raccoon named Raccoon and pelvic thrusts the screen in Gangnam Style. The movie where A SQUIRREL GOES THROUGH AN IDENTITY CRISIS, and I don't mean that in a "I can't believe they did that" way, but more in a "I can't believe that all of these jokes are awful" kind of way.

I mean, WOW none of these jokes are funny. From the very beginning, this movie tries to be a light hearted kind of comedy, but none of the jokes are funny. It's not that they're delivered badly, it's just that the jokes aren't funny to begin with. Either they're lame puns, of they just throw use "nuts" to describe everything. "This plan is nuts!" "He's nuts!" "If you think we're going to listen to you, you're nuts!" And all of those are expected to generate a laugh. For nuts. FOR. NUTS.

Pictured: Me as a squirrel after seeing this movie, being consoled
by a rat. The depths I have sunk to.
Now you might be asking yourself "How bad can this movie be? I have a feeling you're just exaggerating the awfulness of this movie just a tad." To that I say, go to Netflix. The movie is right there to see. You sit down and watch it and draw your own conclusions. This is a bad movie, though I will admit that it's bad in all of the bland, vanilla ways. Everything that's bad about this movie is expected. What pisses me off about this movie though is that this movie was successful. This movie made money at the box office. THEY'RE MAKING A SEQUEL. It isn't as bad as Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, but that movie didn't make a profit. This did. So yes, my anger can be justified.

I don't necessarily know how to describe the animation in this movie. It's not bad by any means, but that's just a sense of stiffness to the movie that I just can't explain. I can't even verbalize it properly, since I don't know exactly what's wrong with the animation. It's not as fluid as a Pixar movie, but it's choppy enough where it doesn't look right to me. Probably someone who is more familiar with animation can say exactly what's wrong with it, but this is just from my cursory glance.

What I can say doesn't work is the story. Besides the... awful character names... nothing happens in this movie. A sequence of events happens, but none of it has any value or merit. Things happen, you process them, but you don't care. You can't get invested in the movie because not only are the stakes so low, but we don't care about our main characters. Surly is a selfish ass for most of the most and only looks out for himself. He's unlikeable, bosses people around, and his big heel turn at the end into a nice guy isn't justified. He's an ass for most of the movie, and now suddenly he's not. His reasoning makes sense, but his actions don't. So if we don't care about our main character, our side characters, and the movie doesn't raise the stakes, then why should I care.

You know what, I don't even care enough to finish this review. My investment is literally that pointless to talk about something as bland and as vanilla as this. Here's my rating, here's a funny video, and now I'm going to go off to play Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, which is something that's actually good.


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